It is crucial to choose the right professional to handle your financial affairs. However, finding one may not be easy with so many choices and expertise claims available on the market these days.
Financial advisers can be categorized into two main types:
– Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs)
– Restricted Advisers
IFAs are free to help you as they don’t have with any strings attached. They offer unbiased, unrestricted advice after considering all options available on the market. IFA’s cannot make agreements with financial groups and investment groups to drive their services. Hence, these need to be free from any bias. They are also able to work for the best interests of customers.
But, this doesn’t mean every IFA is right for you. You need to know if they are right for you. Start with understanding if the financial advice is worth the fees you pay.
Follow the tips given below to reach out to the best consultant:
Narrow Down the Search
Make a research on some of the best candidates. It really helps to get personal recommendations from friends and family. You may also research online and check out unbiased reviews and testimonials by those who have availed the services. Also check out their qualifications and experience.
Arrange a Meeting
After settling on a capable candidate, it is time to fix an initial meeting. This meeting should be free of cost and aimed at answering your queries and getting all charges in writing. There should be no pressure into making decisions in this meeting. In case, the adviser does not want to give ample time to think, consider this as a warning sign.
Your first meeting with the consultant should be a question and answer session ideally. Listed below are some important questions you must ask your adviser:
– Are you restricted or independent?
– Will you offer you a summary of services offer?
– Who are you regulated by?
– What are your experience and qualifications?
– Will you be handling my case in the long term? What will happen if you leave?
– Can I have a look at testimonials from existing clients?
– Do you earn commissions, charge fees, or a combination of both?
– How frequently can I get in touch with you?
– Will you customize advice for my situation or give standard planning models?
– Will you keep me updated on changes affecting my financial situation?
Clarity on Charges
Charging structures vary with advisers. Financial advice is custom-made in nature. Hence, the costs tend to differ. Options for payment will vary as the following:
– A fixed rate
– Hourly rates
– Retainer cost
– Percentage charges applicable to the portfolio
It is important that the financial solution provider talks to you clearly about the overall cost. This should be given in writing too. Any moral, financial advice will cost much less than the paybacks offered. Some of the advisers will perform the projected work and they get paid only once you wish to proceed. There are other advisers who start their charges right from the time they get appointed them. Hence, make sure the recommendations offered by your adviser are reviewable without any additional costs.
Beware of Signs
Did you know poor financial advice will do more harm than good? Hence, it is crucial to keep yourself from such advice. There are a number of signs that help you tell apart the good and bad signs. A good financial adviser is hands-on professional and expert at building long term relationship with clients. They are also very clear about what they offer, how it benefits you, the costs and the risks involved. All good advisers make efforts towards tailoring their advice as per the client requirements and their best interests.
Lack of clarity on financial solutions offered, any amount of reluctance in offering a free initial meeting, and ambiguity related to qualifications and expertise of the adviser are warning signs.
The Pension Wise service offered by the Government will be an ideal choice for you if you have crossed the age 50. A guidance session will be offered to help you know about the best options. This session is free of cost. Answer some simple questions to be able to determine whether or not an appointment is appropriate for you. Once you find that the appointment is beneficial, book a slot on the phone or at a local office to discuss further.